India manage to defeat South Africa 6-5, after Leading 5-1

South Africa lost narrowly (6-5) to India which saw their spirited fight back in Second Half after trailing 3-1 at Half Time and 5-1 till 43rd minute of a 11-goal thriller game in their first of three unofficial Tests in Santander, Spain.

Bharat Chetri

File Photo: Bharat Chetri (Captain India)

The Team India opened accounts in the 12th minute of the game though South Africa was better in possession in the opening. South Africans were back in the game once as they started attacking in search for an equalizer. 5 Minutes after India’s goal, Indian Goalkeeper and Captain Bharat Chetri earned yellow card for himself and a penalty stroke for South Africa with hard tackle on Marvin Harper, which Lloyd Madsen converted easily to level the scores.

India’s Dharamvir Singh scored two goals in quick succession on counters after turn overs in mid-field to earn 3-1 lead for India before the lemon break. Continue reading →

Spain beat India 2-1 in the 2nd test of Santander series

The Spanish team defeated India (2-1) in the second test match at Santander as both teams are in final stage of preparations for the London Games. Sandeep Singh (Penalty corner 28th minute) scored the solitary goal for India, while Spain registered goals through Pau Quemada (34th minute) and Santi Freixa (Penalty corner 69th minute).

Ignace Tirkey

File Photo: Ignace Tirkey, who marked 250th International Cap

After drawing first test (3-3) against World Number 5 side spain, India continued to play a fast and attacking game. And took lead through the penalty corner goal by ace drag flicker Sandeep Singh in 28th minute.

Uncomfortable on the field Spain managed to level the score (1-1) through Pau Quemada’s field  goal which turned the tied. The hosts took possession of the ball and set up the tempo of game after the lemon break. The Skipper of Spain, Santi Freixa converted a penalty in the 69th minute to win the game for his team to avoid second consecutive draw. Continue reading →

Spain and India Play a Draw (3-3) on Opening of Blue Pitch at Santander

Opening game of Blue Pitch, similar to London Olympics, Santander, offered an exciting battle between home side Spain and Eight times Olympics Gold Medalists India which ended in 3-3 draw. Tushar Khandkar, Gurwinder Singh Chandi and SK Utthappa scored for India.

Gurvinder Singh Chandi

File Photo: Gurvinder Singh Chandi

Speedy and skillful Indian team controlled the game and took the lead through Tushar Khandkar’s deflection on SV Sunil’s cross in 11th minute of the match but, but Edi Tubau drew the parity on a pass from David Alegre in 24th minute and Sergi Enrique made it 2-1 by converting a penalty stroke in favor of Spanish side to the much delight house full stands. However, World Number 10 side India’s forward Gurvinder Singh Chandi sent the ball home on a rebound from Spanish Goalie Cortes’s pad on  a penalty corner just before the end of the first half to make it 2-2 and went in lemon break with scores level. Continue reading →

As Team India takes off to Europe

Team India takes off : The Indian Hockey team is ready to board the plane for France to play two matches, and then travel to Spain for a 3 Nation Tournament, before reaching the Olympics Village in London. After booking their ticket to London by defeating France (8-1) in the Hero FIH Road to London (Men), Delhi 2012 in February, the team has been preparing hard for the Olympics. The tour of France and Spain will be the last outing of the team in the run up to the Games.

Indian Hockey Olympic Team

Indian Hockey Olympic Team (Credits: Rohan Jawale)

During the tour, India will play two test matches against France in Lille on 28 and 30 June 2012. The team will then travel to play two test matches each against Spain and South Africa from 5- 11th of  July 2012 at Santander, Spain, before taking part in a 3 Nation Invitational Hockey Tournament at the same venue (Detailed Schedule of the tour can be found here). Continue reading →

Schedule of India’s Europe Tour: Last Outing before London Olympics

In the run up to the London Olympics Games 2012, Team India will play a two match Test Series against France and a 3 Nation Invitational Hockey Tournament at Santander, Spain from 28- 30 June 2012 and 14-18 July 2012 respectively, before heading to London for Olympics 2012.

An artist's impression of the Hockey Centre as it might look during the London 2012 Hockey competitionsIndia will play two test matches against France in Lille on 28 and 30 June 2012. The team will then travel to Spain to take part in a 3 Nation Invitational Hockey Tournament at Santander, Spain from 14-18 July 2012. Before the start of 3 Nation Invitational Hockey Tournament, Team India will also play two test matches each against Spain and South Africa from 5- 11 July 2012 at the same venue (Detailed Schedule given at the end of article).
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Two new additions in the 22-member Squad for Europe tour

Goalkeeper Bharat Chetri has been retained captain and Sardar Singh will continue as vice-captain of 22 member Indian hockey squad for the upcoming European tour, which will see the debut of Nitin Thimmaiah and Pradhan Somanna . During the tour, India will play test matches against France, Spain and South Africa followed by a three-nation (Great Britain, India and Spain) invitational tournament in Spain.

Gurvinder Singh Chandi

Gurvinder Singh Chandi returns after missing the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

Yuvraj Walmiki who replaced Gurvinder Singh Chandi for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, is dropped as Chandi returns. Experienced Ignace Tirkey is back in team after he was rest, while Chinglensana Singh makes the cut after missing out the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

The three-nation tournament involving Great Britain, India and hosts Spain will be played on the blue artificial turf with yellow kookaburra balls.

India will play a total of eight matches during the three week long France and Spain tour, which are expected to help the team to acclimatise to the European conditions and will be last outing before they play in Olympics at Riverbank Arena, London. Continue reading →